“The biggest challenge business owners have is knowing what their biggest challenge is.” —Mike Michalowicz
As renowned speaker and bestselling author Mike Michalowicz researched a topic for his next book, he found that when entrepreneurs were asked, “What’s the biggest challenge facing your business right now?” some had three different answers within the same day. That’s when the epiphany hit: “The biggest challenge business owners have is knowing what their biggest challenge is.”
After the success of previous releases like Clockwork and Profit First, we knew Fix This Next would be a business book insta-buy. Little did we know just how crucial a book about getting your business out of crisis mode would be in the current day and age. In this AuthorConnect Chat, we sat down with Mike to get an overview of Fix This Next and learn three main principles that entrepreneurs must understand in order to take their businesses to the next level.
The “Survival Trap” and “Happenstance”
Business owners and entrepreneurs seem to always be caught in the “Survival Trap,” where you’re constantly putting out fires trying to keep the business alive. The very inspiration for Fix This Next is proof that crisis mode can feel more like homeostasis than is healthy for your business and your team. “We don’t know what our business needs next. We only know where our business is now,” says Michalowicz.
“Sometimes [however] we make a decision that moves us in the direction the business needs it.” He calls this “Happenstance,” when you just so happen to choose a direction out of your crisis that pushes toward what your business really needs. In the moment, it can feel like you’ve struck gold because everything seems to click. But without knowing where you should be going, this reprieve from the Survival Trap is only temporary. You’ll inch closer, helped occasionally by circumstance, only to get caught once again in the vicious cycle.
The “Business Hierarchy of Needs”
The solution? Look to the “Business Hierarchy of Needs.” Based on Maslow’s biological Hierarchy of Needs, Michalowicz has created a blueprint for what any business needs, regardless of structure, industry, or size. “When we peel back the skin of the business, there’s a common DNA,” and you need to make sure lower levels of the pyramid are adequately satisfied before moving up the chain. By assessing your business from the bottom-up, you can determine the most vital need or highest-priority gap to fill. This establishes a clear destination, disrupting the Survival Trap and allowing you to lead your business up and out of crisis mode.
Conquer Your Crisis with “OMEN”
Once you’ve pinpointed the top priority for your business, Michalowicz suggests using OMEN to not only solve the problem but also track, evaluate, and pivot your problem-solving strategy. Below is the acronym explained:
- O = Objective. This is your overarching goal based on the Business Hierarchy of Needs, such as increasing sales prospects.
- M = Measurements. Once you’ve determined your main Objective, identify metrics so that you know whether you’re making progress or not.
- E = Evaluation Frequency. Whether you assess your progress weekly or monthly, the key is to practice a consistent evaluation routine so you can adjust your actions or Measurements to better achieve the Objective.
- N = Nurture. As a business leader, you need to continuously reassess your Objective, the Measurements, and the Evaluation process to make sure it still fits your business model and current goals.
These are just the three main concepts Mike presented for BookPal, but over the course of this AuthorConnect Chat, he covered even more, such as why empathetic listening matters; how to choreograph the needs of the business with the needs of your staff; and how mandated 4-week vacations can take your business to the next level. Watch the full presentation below, and order your copies of Fix This Next: Make the Vital Change That Will Level Up Your Business in bulk from BookPal today.
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This post was written by Danielle Brown, Ecommerce Specialist at BookPal. She is currently reading Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo.